I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. I I John2:12-14)
The Apostle John wrote his Epistle and specifically addressed three stages of Christians, each in a different phase of Christian growth. There are within the true church, Fathers, Children and Young men.
What does the Apostle have to say to those who are new in Christ?
He tells us that the newly born again, have been given two precious gifts; the forgiveness of sins, and the knowledge of the Father.
Little children, cheer up, for your sins have been forgiven! To be a child of God, born again of the Spirit, is to be forgiven of all of your sins.
This is the deepest and most fundamental need a person has, and is the necessary condition for fellowship with God. There can be no spiritual life, without forgiveness.
Jesus died for our sins. He died as a propitiation, (as a satisfaction) that we might be made acceptable to God.
When I was new in Christ, forgiveness and the assurance of it was what I craved and it was my first great interest. Am I really right with God? Have my sin been forgiven?
God taught me early to resort always to the cross, and to ponder the meaning of the cross, applying it to my fears, and to my powerful guilt and sense of condemnation. I was given verses such as Romans 5:1
“Therefore being justified by Faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..”
And I Peter 3:18, which I committed to memory,
“Christ died for sin, once and for all, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. He was put to death in the flesh, and made alive in the Spirit…”
Another one I found extremely helpful was I John 1:9,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…”
Whenever the storms of condemnation, and guilt would threaten to wash over me as a newly born again child of God, I was taught to cling to those verses, to recite and even preach them to myself and to my friends who were also new Christians. We loved Jesus but still struggled with sinful habits and attitudes, but these verses became like beacons of light to us.
Let these promises of God strengthen and establish you, even if you are struggling and falling down, get back up in Jesus name and learn that in the simplicity of confessing your sin to God, and hating it, taking God’s side against it, forgiveness of sins and cleansing are yours in Jesus name.
Jesus loved you when you were still a sinner, how much more does He love you, now that you are a child of God?
Yes, you struggle and fall and stumble and fail … but Jesus died for you. I am inspired to write to you and tell you a message from heaven, Little Children, Your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake… ( in other words, based on what Jesus did, who He is and what He wants for you).
I John 1:9 tells us, that it is not a matter of how you might feel about it, it is a matter of His faithfulness. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. That is such good news.
It is the privilege of all children of God, to be forgiven of sins, but in this Epistle he specifically marks out the “Little Children”, as the beneficiaries of this privilege, and another equally blessed gift, which we will discuss in our next article, that “You know the Father”.